This morning Perry Noble posted on his blog Ten Signs You Are Becoming Normal.
His #1: “You begin to take less risks, saying there is too much at stake now, thus the need to “play it safe.” (God has not called His church to play prevent defense but rather RUN UP THE FREAKIN SCORE!)”
Leading change may be the most difficult thing to do in leading a church. Human nature is to settle down. We build permanent structures, have kids, and play fantasy football instead of the real thing. For a multitude of reasons the church is a difficult place to enact change, so Noble’s quote resonated but also got me thinking.
There is the old football cliche that the only thing the prevent defense does is prevent you from winning. Really it is counter-intuitive. In a prevent defense you put more defensive backs on the field as opposed to lineman and linebackers. Defensive backs are smaller, faster, and more apt to defend a wide receiver; while the lineman and linebackers are more designed to defend against the run and pressure the quarterback. Therefore it would make sense to defend against a pass heavy attack the prevent would be ideal, but it lacks one important thing: pressure.
At the Willow Creek Leadership Summit, Bill Hybels shared how it is not about portraying “there” as good but “here” as unacceptable. When faced with the risk of losing something good for the chance at something great most people will stay. Think about all the game shows that involve the potential risk of losing money, most of the time people walk away.
The status quo, the normal isn’t acceptable and as leaders we have to model and communicate this.